Ten Big Decisions

It's a very simple problem, from the GM chair

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=== Eyes Slideways ===

[COMIC PANEL ONE] You kiddies are desperately hoping for something to occur that might distract SSI, and cause it to talk about something other than soldiers killing people and breaking things.  

[COMIC PANEL TWO] Hector Noesi occurs today.  

[COMIC PANEL THREE]  ::crickets::  :: Dr D thrashes about for a punch line ::

Where is Jeff Sullivan when you really need him?

..........

The infield battles are not very interesting.  Well, it's interesting to see whether the M's will keep only two catchers, and whether they can find room for Alex Liddi or Nick Franklin.  But 1B-2B-SS-3B are set.

The 5-man outfield rotation is kind of interesting.  However, all of the outfielders other than Morse and possibly Saunders are of roughly equal talent.  Whether the M's give time to Casper Wells or Jason Bay is unlikely to swing the balance of power in the West.

The M's are loaded in the bullpen.  That's not a battle; it's an impending bloodbath.  For the other teams.  I know a couple of pricey AL West teams who had better get their leads by the 6th inning.  

..........

However, the starting rotation battle is both (1) fascinating and (2) a pivot point for the M's presumed future domination of hardball as we know it.

Cinderella teams occur, and usually they occur because Billy Beane finds five starting pitchers who lock you down.  The M's cleanest path to a big season is by getting a surprise rotation going.  It could like totally happen.  It is most heinously the job of the shot-callers to MAKE it happen.  They can't afford to be feebleminds on their rotation calls.

Capt Jack and Sgt Wedge can afford to indulge their biases on Robert Andino or Jason Bay or Raul Ibanez or three catchers.  They gotta get the rotation right.

...........

Bill James learned, once he got inside baseball, that Theo Epstein's GM seasons depended on 10 or 12 mammoth decisions he made each season, and whether those turned out to be the right calls.  HERE is where they gotta get it right.  

If you look back from November 2013, and the Mariners turned out to have a great season, it says here it will probably have been -- primarily -- because they made the right calls in the rotation.

NEXT

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Tacoma RainIt was interesting that Paxton himself felt said he had no off speed stuff until the well into the 4th inning...4 hours 46 min ago
bsrK Pax best ERA in first 11 starts of career for any pitcher in last 25 years. I think that'll do.4 hours 49 min ago
NickIndeed it is TR. I fully expect Doc to give us the annual rundown of pitchers who found success with one diabolical pitch. It is a) comical to see hitters swing hopelessly right thru Paxton's fastball and b) tempting to dream of days to come when he gets a true feel for the CH/CU....5 hours 4 min ago
Tacoma RainHard to argue with 9 goose eggs... or a career 1.91 ERA5 hours 19 min ago
NickLooks like a no, MtGriz. I tuned in late, about the 4th inning and Pax may have thrown one for a strike. Still went 6 2/3 scoreless so I won't complain. But dude, find that curve for when we face the good teams!6 hours 21 min ago
mojicianGoose eggs so far.7 hours 31 min ago
MtGrizzlyI hope Paxton has found his curveball.8 hours 48 min ago
mojicianI think Stanton and Upton are basically the same guy, except that Stanton is the supersized version of Upton. This has pluses and minuses. Stanton has a little more power, but he is also slower and has more of an injury risk. But, the big difference in Stanton's favor, is that he doesn't slump very badly. He plays well even when he is cranky (which seems to be often). Everything has to be rosy for Upton to have a monster season, or he devolves into being merely good. Just my opinion.10 hours 29 min ago
mojicianUpton has crazy power. 16 of Upton 's 2014 home runs exceed 106 mph off the bat and are at desirable 20-30 degree line drive launch angles. His most crushed ball is 116 mph off the bat. This puts him in the Stanton Trout class of hittracker monsters. Who knows how his 'tude would have played though.11 hours 1 min ago
DaddyOHopefully the way things were structured was a rolling two-year contract.11 hours 3 min ago
mojicianFielder or Upton wouldn't have been too bad. Hamilton? Disaster. (ducks).11 hours 15 min ago
MtGrizzlyYeah - it could easily have gone the other way if any of his previous attempts to land his 'aircraft carrier' had succeeded. Hamilton, Fielder, Upton...if he had actually got any of those guys, there would be no Cano and, presumably, no wild card chase and no contract extension. That's a little scary.11 hours 26 min ago
DaddyOMe either. I know this won't be popular, but IMO if it's more than two years it's premature (ducks behind TWO brick walls, and an Iron Dome system for overhead cover). One good season, which is not yet even completed, does not earn another three (or more) years.11 hours 44 min ago
MtGrizzlyDid not see that coming.12 hours 56 min ago
mojicianHey, the Mariners signed someone today: Jack Zduriencik reportedly receives multi-year extension. Hopefully Iwakuma and Seager are next13 hours 4 min ago
rick82Matt, the Ranger pitchers must be taking on the Nolan Ryan way: boom or bust, shutout or shelled.18 hours 22 min ago
SABR MattLOL...I had a nightmare that we got shut out for the whole series against the Rangers last night.18 hours 22 min ago
Tacoma RainThe week is young Matt...20 hours 10 min ago
SABR Mattanother question...has any team with an ERA as high as the Rangers' staff ever managed so many shutouts? They have 16...somehow.20 hours 19 min ago
DaddyOI should add, the question has to do with playoff teams in a somewhat modern setting, excluding the deadball era.20 hours 34 min ago